Printed circuit board (PCB) maker DAP was the largest supplier of boards for Samsung Electronics’ smartphones this year, TheElec has learned.
DAP supplies high density interconnection (HDI) boards to Samsung.
The second largest supplier of boards was Korea Circuit, followed by Meiko Electronics of Japan.
This is a big step up for DAP as it was this was the third largest supplier last year.
Last year, Samsung Electro-Mechanics’ HDI boards accounted for late 20% of those used by Samsung Electronics. This was followed by Korea Circuit which supplied mid 20% and DAP which provided late 10%.
But Samsung Electro-Mechanics has exited its PCB business as of last year, bringing a sea of change within a year.
DAP secured the order for huge amounts of HDI for budget smartphones as well as some flagship models, people familiar with the matter said.
This didn’t help with the PCB maker’s performance for the first half of 2020 as Samsung saw lackluster smartphone sales during that time.
DAP posted 134.9 billion won in sales in the first half, a decline of 0.9% year over year. It posted a slight loss of 85 million won. HDI accounts for around 70% to 75% of DAP’s sales. The remainder comes from boards for auto-components.
Though Korea Circuit falls behind in volume to DAP, it was supplying more HDI boards used in flagship models. Boards aimed at flagships usually take two weeks longer to produce than those for budget models. In terms of HDI boards for flagships, Korea Circuit had the most order, followed by DAP then Ibiden of Japan.
Korea Circuit saw its sales rise in the first half of 2020 thanks to boards for semiconductors. HDI boards account for 45% to 50% of its sales, while boards for semiconductors account for 30% to 35%. Demand for notebooks, tablets and server semiconductors rose in the first half due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Korea Circuit saw sales of 272.8 billion won in the first half, a rise of 21.9% from 2019. It posted 15.7 billion won operating profits.
Both DAP and Korea Circuit are expected post better performances from their HDI businesses. Samsung Electronics is pushing budget model smartphones in an effort to take back market share from Huawei. The Chinese company was the world’s largest smartphone maker in the second quarter.
However, in 2021, DAP and Korea Circuit may see lower orders from Samsung if the tech giant decides to use more original design manufacturers (ODM). ODM use their own PCB suppliers.